Spring Stouts

Five powerhouse Oregon stouts prove that heavy can be heavenly.

By John Chandler February 19, 2013

This month’s shopping list

Alameda Brewing: Black Bear XX Stout ($4.25/22 oz) The mighty Black Bear is the gold standard of Portland stouts, with its impeccable balance, deceptively light body, and dancing undercurrent of flavors ranging from bitter chocolate to smoky licorice. 

Base Camp Brewing: S’more Stout ($18/growler) You can’t go wrong with a velvety ale garnished with a toasted marshmallow. After you revel in the creamy richness and brawny malts, that gooey marshmallow is your passport to campfire coziness. 

Golden Valley Brewing: Black Panther
Imperial Stout
($8/22 oz) Bold red fruit notes—cherries and plums—reside at the heart of this fine-roasted, wine barrel–aged beauty. At 8.7 percent ABV, it could easily be used as a tasty substitute for sherry or port in your après-dinner snifter. 

Pelican Brewery: Tsunami Stout ($6/22 oz) This jet-black gem with a medium body is packed with dependably superb stout characteristics, like dark fruit notes, mocha, and a subtle splash of molasses. No wonder it earned a gold medal at the 2012 European Beer Star competition. 

Widmer Brothers Brewing: Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout ($13/22 oz) The wily Widmers took their already formidable KGB Russian Imperial Stout and added Ecuadorian cocoa nibs to the mix of Cascade, Zeus, Willamette, and Alchemy hops. The result is pure delicious decadence with a powerful 9.3 percent ABV. 

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